Dave Schneider and Dave Burkett
The two Daves are reptile experts. They study herpetology, which is the analysis of cold-blooded tetrapods. This is the study of amphibians reptiles and caecilians. Scientists believe that we can learn a lot from these creatures, and a herpetologists’ work can be beneficial in many ways. When these creatures are studied, it can give scientists a unique insight into the ecology of the planet. They can sense the subtle transformations in the environment. This makes them able to provide a clear warning when an ecological shift is about to happen.
Certain poisons that are emitted by reptiles and amphibians can have medicinal purposes. For example, snake venom can prevent a blood clot in a person who has suffered a stroke or a heart attack. With everything we still have to learn about these creatures, it is no wonder that many societies promote herpetology. The Herpetological Associates is one of these organizations. The group was founded in 1977, and they specialize in threatened and endangered animal and plant species. They also focus on the creatures’ habitats. They work to ensure the well being of wildlife in parks, suburbs, and forests.
Herpetological Associates Offices
The organization has offices in Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The New Jersey office focuses on the state’s Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA). The group helps their clients with their submissions to various environmental agencies such as the New Jersey Pinelands Commission and the Bureau of Coastal Project Review. Part of their job is to assess the presence of poisonous snakes on building sites.
Training and Education
Since these snakes are deadly, the employees must undergo extensive training that would allow them to capture the dangerous creatures safely. The northern copperhead and the timber rattlesnake are of particular interest to the group, and these are among the most dangerous and venomous snakes.
The Timber Rattlesnake
The timber rattlesnake has a very frightening reputation. It is one of the most lethal snakes living on the continent today. These snakes can grow to be 60-inches long, and they have large fangs that produce very poisonous venom. They also administer neurotoxins to their prey, which can result in internal bleeding and muscle cell death.
The Northern Copperhead
The Northern copperhead lives in North America and often lives in forests and places where there are a lot of trees. This snake is smaller than the timber rattlesnake, but its venom is just as dangerous. Its bite can cause extreme pain, nausea, and tissue damage. Fortunately, the members of the group are trained to handle these types of creatures. All of the knowledge and experience didn’t prepare the two Daves for what they found while working in New Jersey.
At the time, the two men were auditing Pine Barrens; New Jersey, often referred to as The Pines. It is a coastal plane that contains dense woodland and covers various counties. The area where they were looking is commonly used by female snakes to birth their young. This makes it an area of great interest for herpetologists. According to Burkett, this is an area where female snakes get sun and allow their embryos to incubate. They often give birth in late August, and the babies stay close to the mothers.
A Shocking Find
Burnett was taking photos of baby rattlesnakes, and when he looked through the lens, he noticed something extraordinary about one of them. Just one of the subjects had a terrifying deformity. It was something that he and Schneider weren’t prepared for. When the snake went to take shelter, the abnormality was obvious. The snake appeared to be healthy, but the two Daves were worried. They decided to rescue the mutant reptile, but first, they needed permission. Under the endangered species laws, it is illegal to handle or harass any endangered reptile or amphibian without permission. They got permission by explaining that it likely wouldn’t survive in the wild. It is also twice as dangerous as other snakes of its kind.
A Two-Headed Snake
What made this snake so special was that it had two heads. According to Burkett, he was shocked when he saw it. This isn’t something you see every day. According to Schnieder, it looked like a creature from mythology. Because the snake has two heads, it would be twice as venomous.
The two Daves said that their find was incredible. The snake had two sets of working eyes and two forked tongues. They still don’t know the gender of the serpent. When the snakes move a certain way, it almost appears that the two heads are fighting with one another. In honor of the men that found it, the snake has been dubbed, Double Dave. These experts have discovered a dangerous mutant reptile in New Jersey, and they call it the find of a lifetime.